A writer and photographer from National Geographic trailed a truckload of strawberries from the Central Coast of California to a grocery store in Washington, D.C.
Their journey was captured in a video by National Geographic called “Onward: Following a Truckload of Strawberries Across America.”
In a story about the trip called “Go East Young Men,” writer Daniel Stone and photographer Spencer Millsap said they wanted to see the food distribution system at work.
“We wanted to trace the massive journey food travels to reach markets thousands of miles away. And there was no better food to follow than the strawberry, one of the planet’s most perishable crops,” Stone wrote. “Everyone around the world eats strawberries, but nobody eats more strawberries than Americans. So we’d literally follow a strawberry truck the entire journey, from the field in Watsonville to a supermarket in Washington, D.C.
“We’d try to keep up on a journey that plays out thousands of times a day, never seen but almost always on schedule.”
After three days of following a refrigerated truck from a Driscoll’s berry facility to a Washington, D.C. Whole Foods supermarket, Stone said it was hard to communicate to others what they experienced.
“A produce clerk came over to chat and was surprised when we explained we had just followed those (berries), 3,200 miles coast to coast,” Stone wrote. “I had wanted him to have a new appreciation of all the produce he touches after knowing how much time and effort it takes to arrive in his store. But he hadn’t changed; only we had.”